You are adopting Agile practices throughout your organization, and you set up a shiny new set of tools to support it.  All of your teams have captured their backlog and are running their Sprints (Scrum) or continuous-flow (Kanban) process.  Great!  There is only one problem.  How can management see at a glance what is going on in each effort?

  • How do we know if each effort is “on track” or headed for disaster?
  • How do we know when we have capacity to take on new initiatives?
  • If a new high priority/urgent initiative is proposed, how can we quickly see if it would impact other efforts at the same or higher business priority?
  • If a new high priority/urgent initiative must be undertaken, how can we quickly analyze resources and schedules for what is happening currently, so we can do an impact analysis?
  • How can we avoid getting bogged down in the day-to-day minutiae of user stories, story points, and bugs and quickly identify important blockers, major risks, or emerging trends that could have ripple effects?

Through a case study involving a $1B municipal government agency, we will describe the process of configuring a set of tools to feed a one-page dashboard displaying current and proposed initiatives – enabling management decision-making.  The tools include Atlassian JIRA, BitBucket, Bamboo, and LeanKit, but the lessons may be applied to other similar toolchains.   We analyze both the technical work involved, as well as the important process and cultural changes we had to make in order for this to happen.   All changes automatically roll up from the team level to the portfolio level, so that progress, blockages, and risks are always visible.   Senior management can drill down to get details if needed.

Perhaps “Agile PMO” is not an oxymoron, after all.


Outline/Structure of the Case Study

The Problem


  • Tools
  • Processes

Cultural Issues



Lessons Learned

Next Steps

Learning Outcome

  • Understand the scope of effort involved to set up an “agile PMO” and why it’s important
  • Know what kinds of cultural resistance may be encountered, setting up portfolio-level processing and how to work around it
  • Understand the modifications that may have to be made to development processes in order to support automated roll-up to the portfolio level
  • Have a high-level grasp of the steps involved to connect a Kanban tool such as LeanKit to an application lifecycle management tool suite such as Atlassian JIRA to support Portfolio Kanban process

Target Audience

IT Managers, CTO, CIO, Coaches, Scrum practitioners, Traditional project and portfolio managers

Prerequisites for Attendees



schedule Submitted 3 years ago

  • Colleen Johnson

    Colleen Johnson - End to End Kanban for the Whole Organization

    Colleen Johnson
    Colleen Johnson
    schedule 3 years ago
    Sold Out!
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    Melinda Solomon - From Pandemonium to Predictable: Managing the Chaos of Success

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    Case Study

    We often aim for success and welcome it with open arms.  But, sometimes success comes more quickly than you anticipate, and demand for services exceeds your capacity to deliver.  The result can be missed commitments, high stress, and inability to forecast with clarity.  As quickly as your brand shines, it can tarnish with your inability to keep up.  Basically your dreams become your nightmare.

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     In the midst of the chaos we became inspired by the IT software development model of Kanban.  While we're engaged in non-IT knowledge work, we became convinced an implementation of a proto-kanban management system could save our reputation.  The Kanban management method saved our business when the chaos of success was drowning us.  And it can help you too!

  • Craeg K Strong

    Craeg K Strong - Okaloa Flowlab: Learning About Flow through Fun Simulations

    45 Mins

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    Introducing the Okaloa Flowlab board game-- an exciting new approach to learning how to think about flow through practice and simulation.  With Okaloa Flowlab we will perform a series of experiments through board-play style simulations that reflect real work environments.  This session provides a quick introduction into what is typically a three-hour interactive class.  In order to fit into the 45-minute timeframe, we will provide a “before” vs “after” game play rather than introducing agile policies incrementally, but the end result will be the same.

    We first simulate a conventional work environment that reflects a “mechanistic” mindset characterized by a focus on resource efficiency, command and control, and specialist workers, so that participants will viscerally experience which roadblocks need to be overcome.  We will then implement a number of agile policies and practices (including pull of work, peer collaboration and limiting the amount of work in process) and observe the results.

    This learning session enables attendees to experience first-hand the effect of adopting agile processes in a safe-to-fail simulated environment. 

    Each team consists of 3-5 people seated around a table with the board (ideally 4 people and 1 person taking up the role of project coordinator).

    Participants will discover the power of visualization, limiting work in process and collaboration, and understand the fundamental difference between resource efficiency and flow efficiency.

    Come check out this exciting and innovative new way to learn about agility!


  • Craeg K Strong

    Craeg K Strong - Abolishing Sprint Zero: Leveraging Software Seeds and Generators to JumpStart your Project

    45 Mins

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    In this talk we will describe a new technique for jump-starting application development, with software seeds and generators.  


    A seed project pre-integrates a set of technologies, with a minimal working set of services and screens, a set of example automated tests and a fully tricked-out DevOps pipeline.    Like an erector set (or a Raspberry Pi Maker Kit—to use a more up-to-date analogy), a seed is designed to be used for building larger projects.


    A generator can be used to generate a new project (by customizing seed templates, for example), and, later on, to generate new software components from blueprints as they are needed.  Like a casting mold for molten metal, a generator helps ensure new components follow naming, testing, and design conventions.


    A properly configured set of seed and generator projects can provide a number of important benefits:

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    • New insights, components, and design patterns can be quickly promulgated and shared within and across organizations


    Of course, all this does not come for free.  Seeds and generators must be regularly maintained, and they require senior expertise to build and maintain them.  However, even a junior team can derive benefit from downloading a pre-existing example from one of the many online sources such as 


    In this talk we will explore the process for building and maintaining seeds and generators using a case study of three seed projects developed for a NYC municipal agency using Ruby on Rails, Microsoft C# .NET Core, and AngularJS 4, technologies.  We will talk about the lessons learned, commonalities and differences between technology stacks and what it takes to maintain the seeds and generators long-term.   We will also talk about our experiences using the seeds and generators to build production applications and helping other groups to do the same.  We will discuss the issue of achieving buy-in, even from development groups that did not participate in the initial seed development.    Finally, we will explore next steps and speculate on where the next major leaps in software development productivity may come from.

    NOTE: This talk can be delivered at the intermediate or advanced level, depending on the audience

  • Joey Spooner

    Joey Spooner - Making the Change: Going Agile at the Department of Labor

    45 Mins
    Experience Report

    Going agile in the government is easy to say and hard to do. Teams and individuals prefer to stay apart and work on their own for weeks or months at a time. Documentation can quickly become more important than working software. Addressing the demands brought on by a change in administration, policy, or executive direction requires teams and individuals to start working together in order to succeed in their overall mission.

    This experience report will discuss the benefits, challenges, and outcomes when implementing Kanban in a traditional waterfall and silo working environment. Techniques for creating a continuous change towards an agile way of working will be shared. Performance data from a two year Kanban initiative at the Department of Labor will be reviewed and discussed. Participants will walk away with a clear understanding of how Kanban can break down silos, improve the agility of a traditional waterfall and silo focused organization, and noticeably improve performance.

  • Joey Spooner

    Joey Spooner - What happens when you use the Kanban Method to manage your business?

    45 Mins
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    Running a small business is no small task. Financial management, sales, hiring, managing people, and supporting existing clients are just a handful of activities a small business might address in a single day. So what happens when you use the Kanban Method to manage your business?

    I’ll share my experiences while training, coaching, and evolving a small business using the Kanban Method. You’ll see how the Method quickly surfaced issues, revealed hidden opportunities for innovation, and how the business is using the Method to mature the services they offer.